Hildale, Utah

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Hildale is a city in Washington County, Utah, United States. The population was 1,895 at the 2000 census.

Hildale is a twin city to the more well-known Colorado City, Arizona, both of which straddle the border between the states of Utah and Arizona. Hildale is the headquarters of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Many adults in the community practice plural marriage. Since most government officials — including the police force — are FLDS members, some critics have likened the community's atmosphere to that of a prison, which is the result of attempts to discourage any of the town's women from attempting to leave the polygamous lifestyle.[3]

In January 2004, the FLDS leader and prophet, Warren Jeffs, expelled a group of twenty men, including the mayor, and "gave" their wives and children to other men. Jeffs said he was acting on the orders of God, but the men he expelled claimed they were penalized for disagreeing with Jeffs. Observers say this is the most severe split to date within the community. Jeffs was placed on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list and was eventually apprehended on August 28, 2006 in Las Vegas. On September 25, 2007, Jeffs was convicted of being an accomplice to rape for performing a marriage between a 14-year-old girl and her 19-year-old first cousin.

The United Effort Plan, the financial arm of the FLDS owns most of the property in the town.

The Colorado City/Hildale, Utah area has the world's highest incidence of fumarase deficiency, an extremely rare genetic condition which causes severe mental retardation. Geneticists attribute this to the prevalence of cousin marriage between descendants of two of the town's founders, Joseph Smith Jessop and John Yates Barlow. At least half of the double community's inhabitants are descended from one or both men.[4]

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April 2010 raid

On April 6, 2010, law enforcement officials in Mohave County, Arizona and Washington County, Utah served five search warrants seeking records from town officers.[5] The warrants were served on government officials and departments, including the Town Manager, David Darger, as well as Colorado City's fire chief.[5] As a result of the initial warrants, the Hildale-Colorado City Department of Public Safety was shut down, and emergency responders were prohibited from responding to calls without the approval of county officials. Firefighter Glen Jeffs indicated that the warrants referenced "misuse of funds."[6]

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